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Astronomy Picture of the Day : 2008 November 03: A Spectacular Rayed Crater on Mercury


Science & Tech  (tags: Mercury, craters, NASA, spacecraft, APL, Astronomy )

Blue
- 2088 days ago - antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov
Pictured, a particularly spectacular rayed crater spanning approximately 80 kilometers was imaged by MESSENGER during last month's flyby from about 20,000 kilometers up. The rays prevalence is a mystery because space weathering effects such as dust ...



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Comments

Blue Bunting (855)
Monday November 3, 2008, 9:13 am
Explanation: Why does Mercury have so many rayed craters? No one is sure. The robotic MESSENGER spacecraft that is taking unprecedented images as it swoops past the innermost planet has provided dramatic confirmation that
Mercury has more
rayed craters than
Earth's Moon.
Pictured above,
a particularly spectacular rayed crater spanning approximately 80 kilometers was imaged by
MESSENGER
during last month's flyby from about 20,000 kilometers up. The rays prevalence is a mystery because space weathering effects such as dust accumulation and solar wind attenuation should be greater on Mercury than on the Moon. Hypothesized solutions currently include the
optical properties of Mercurian dust, and that Mercury's high mass and proximity to the Sun cause more violent impacts, thus typically raising more light material. MESSENGER will buzz past Mercury again next year before entering orbit in 2011.
 

Jav R. (0)
Friday December 6, 2013, 7:22 am
Gracias.
 
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